Choosing sides

Recently, buzzfeed attempted to generate a fake scandal about a home improvement television show. (Which also happens to be my mom’s favorite show, which we will come back to later). Basically, Joanna and Chip Gaines are a couple who fix up crappy houses for clients. They are believing Christians and attend a church which does not support gay marriage. For the Cathedral, this is an outrageous spiritual sin against the progressive faith. It is conspicuous how often the new sins of the cathedral are so often completely inverted polar opposites of similar sins in Christianity. A sort of anti-Christianity. A grotesque reflection of the original in a circus mirror. Bloomberg ran a quite sane op-ed in response which I suggest you read. Its pretty short. But here are some important excerpts:

Over the last few years, as controversies have erupted over the rights of cake bakers and pizza places to refuse to cater gay weddings, the rights of nuns to refuse to provide insurance that covers birth control, the rights of Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions, and the rights of Christian schools to teach (and require students and teachers to practice) traditional Christian morality, some Christians have begun to feel that their communities are under existential threat.

The response from the left has (mostly) been that this is so much whining, clinging to a victimhood belied by Christians’ social power and majority status. No one, they have been assured, wants to touch their freedom to worship, but when they enter the commercial realm, they have to abide by anti-discrimination laws, whatever their private beliefs.

The attacks on Christians in the last few years have been both obvious and egregious. Contrary to the public proclamations of progressives, this has very little to do with helping “disadvantaged” people and everything to do with forcing unprotected classes under their control. Even if you aren’t particularly religious, it would still be in your interest to side with Christians in these cases. The attacks on Christians are just one subset of a broader assault on freedom of association in all spheres of life. Forced integration of schools and government subsidized diversity in white towns are devastating attacks on freedom of association and a huge negative development for white communities. It also happens in video games where an almost exclusively male hobby is forced to pander to the erroneous preferences of women who don’t even play games. I am sure you can think of plenty of additional examples in any number of seemingly unrelated areas. No area of life seems to be off limits in our eternal current year. This is not just a problem for Christians, it is a problem for everyone.

“The government won’t actually shut your church down. But the left will use its positions of institutional power to try to hound anyone who attends that church from public life. You can believe whatever you want — but if we catch you, or if we even catch you in proximity to people who believe it, we will threaten your livelihood.”

They fear that the left is out to build a world where it will not be possible to hold any prominent job while holding onto their church’s beliefs about sexuality. Discussions I’ve had in recent days with nice, well-meaning progressives [editorial note: this description is somewhere between excessively generous and a complete fabrication] suggest that this is not a paranoid fantasy. An online publisher’s witch hunt against two television personalities — because of the church they attend — validates the fears of these Christians.

These sorts of things have happened quite a bit. Brendon Eich of Mozilla is probably the most famous example. It isn’t only done against Christians, either. Trumped up charges of being a secular racist or sexist can lose you your job just as rapidly as a Christian belief in the sanctity of marriage. If you accept their demands to keep your job, then you are forced to be surrounded by degenerates and incompetents which is a hard sell. So the left employs harsh punishments for non-compliance. The left would like any resisting non-conformist dead, but since that is illegal, they will work very hard to at least make them homeless and penniless. And if some mob of morons kills the unbeliever, all the better. The blood is spilled and the virtue signalers face no consequences for their important role.  They will make up lies to make this happen. These people are evil and do not deserve mercy.

The Bloomberg article notes correctly that freedom of religion, a subset of freedom of association, was included in the constitution due to the tendency of religious fanatics (the ancestors of today’s progressives) to initiate a war for spiritual purity. Successful or not, eventually those who are tyrannized return the favor in kind with their own holy war against the virtue signalers. The result is cycle of blood as different factions get their revenge for past wrongs. The reformation was a recent memory for the original Americans and it was their goal to prevent a repetition. Though they didn’t really succeed all that well, the fanatics just adapted their strategies, it was at least a good idea and desire.

There’s a reason that our constitution was written to enshrine substantial religious liberty, an uncommon idea at the time of the Founding Fathers: We had many different groups who thought that their spiritual victory had already been foreordained, and allowing them to seek total annihilation of the errant losing side would end up in the same ugly politico-religious wars that had roiled Europe for centuries.

The authors of the U.S. Constitution had learned from that history that religious beliefs are a primal force, even harder to dislodge by the sword than by the sermon. Eventually both sides of those religious disputes noticed how fragile their victories were, how easily the swordpoint conversions were reversed when the fortunes of war shifted, and how devastating their own subsequent losses often were. They decided that it was better to live uneasily together than to try to stamp out the other side.

With America seemingly dividing into two countries, riven by intractable value differences, this is a lesson that culture warriors on both sides need to relearn. Really, what is the cost to society if two HGTV hosts are allowed to thrive without disavowing their pastor’s comments on same-sex marriage? The far greater risk comes from trying to compel them to do so, whether through hard government power or soft private coercion. We can tear windows into the souls of others only at the risk of others tearing holes into us.

Indeed, the rise of anti-progressivism in the last few years is a clear indication that the tyrannized fly-over region is getting ready to return the favor and return it good and hard. The risk of a neo-reformation and its attendant wars is as high as it has ever been.

When you think that you may shortly see your church’s schools and your religious hospitals closed, and your job or business threatened in the private sphere by the economic equivalent of “convert or die,” you will side with whoever does not seem to set its sights on your conservative beliefs.

And this captures the new zietgeist exactly. There are many, many people who would love nothing better than to just live their lives in a state of complete myopia. Fixing their cars, playing their games, drinking with friends, whatever. There is no properly serious philosophical or spiritual pursuit in their lives and if left to their own devices this would not change. The progressives aren’t going to allow that state of affairs any more. People are going to have to pick a side. Are you going to choose the side of control, lies, and anarcho-tyranny that is progressive political correctness or are you going to choose the side of truth, reality, and freedom of association? Many people are being forced to confront this choice as never before, and in many ways this is a good thing. Gamergate was a perfect example of this. Confronted with progressive encroachment on their apolitical hobby, many young men were forced to polarize. Forced to take a side. Fortunately most of them chose the side of reality and freedom. All of a sudden new and magnificent understanding of the world was made available to people after being broken free from their haze of self-absorption.

Many in my own family have only very shallow understanding of the ongoing culture war and prefer to ignore it if possible.  However, when presented with an example of progressive social control that directly affects them they often also experience a positive transformation. So was this case with this home improvement show. It is my mom’s favorite and when she was made aware that it was under progressive attack, and might potentially be canceled as has happened in the past, she started red-pilling very quickly. I daresay she almost hates the prig-progs as much as I do now. Events like these are mana from heaven. These catalysts wakes people up and gets them to actually understand the world beyond their little bubble. Make as much use out of them as you can.

 

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Buy or rent?

So the story of Obama’s Orwellian plan to counter white flight has been making the rounds lately. Essentially what leftists want to do is make it so that it is impossible for whites within large metropolitan areas to escape the horrible consequences of leftist policies by moving outside of the city limits. They are using a several pronged attack to do this. On one side, they are keeping federal money away from suburban cities which won’t play along with the scheme to incentivize them to play. If they do play, they are subtly being forced to give up their independence with respect to the major city in the area. To receive the money from the feds, they must report a whole series of measures publicly which will demonstrate racial segregation and disparate impact. This publicly available information could then be used to sue municipalities and of course proof of intentional discrimination is not necessary based on a recent supreme court case with respect to Texas.
In fact, judicial fiat is likely to be the main mechanism by which cities will be forced to cede authority to the federal government. (Amusingly, the leftist activists working with the feds are apparently too stupid to realize what is going on and thus think it won’t have the effects they want.) To avoid getting sued and to continue getting federal money, these suburbs will be given options to increase diversity in the area such as building section 8 housing in relatively wealthy areas; including advertising this low income housing to the inner city underclass. Many cities have zoning laws which prevent these sorts of high rise living buildings from being built. Either by lawsuit or by coercion through federal money withholding these cities will be forced to reverse these zoning laws. In other words, whites (and even the exceptional minorities who escaped their dumb and violent co-ethnics) who have worked very hard and spent way more money than should have been necessary will have all of their equity wiped out. Leftists plan do this to virtually every suburban community[pdf] throughout the entire country. If you live in one of these communities, you should seriously consider getting out now before your property values plummet.
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, I am a young guy with little in the way of responsibilities. I only have myself and my own bills to pay for. I am debt free with no wife, no children. In other words, my level of freedom to make decisions is quite high and this new information significantly reduces the chances I will ever buy a home (at least in the US).
My friends and I have had the conversation about whether or not it is worthwhile to buy a home as opposed to rent well before this new federal policy was known. We have discussed the pros and cons. The obvious pro for buying a home is that instead of rent money disappearing into the abyss, it goes into equity which you may eventually be able to get back. However, there are negatives as well. Once you get the home, you essentially become locked into a certain lifestyle. You have a mortgage that you have to pay every month, so you need to have a regular job that you can’t leave easily. If you leave you can’t pay the mortgage and you are screwed. If you want to travel, you are limited to very short durations of travel because you have to get back to your job to pay that mortgage. If you ever do decide you want to leave even for another job, you have to go through the whole hassle of selling the house. This could take a long time, and depending on the market, you might end up losing money anyway (home equity is of course a gamble). So, as a renter you have the option of jumping ship to something new at least every year and possibly more often if the apartment allows you to buy yourself out of the contract. So the major pro with renting is increased flexibility with your life choices. This is difficult if not impossible to quantify financially. How can you put a price on freedom? The main advantage of buying a home is equity, which is easy to quantify but is increasingly unreliable.
Though the government has been moving in this direction for a while, it seems as though they are accelerating an alarming trend which will make home purchase even less worthwhile. Many communities have been curb-stomped and responsible citizens screwed because the government subsidizes poor people (especially blacks) to move into communities they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just wealth which differentiates different classes of people. The underclass is more criminal than the middle and upper class. They engage in violent behavior more often which reduces the safety of the community. They do not do as well in school and lower the quality for the children of the higher classes. So what ends up happening when you move the underclass into reasonably healthy communities is a large reduction in the quality of life for the more responsible previous residents and lowering the property values. If you buy into one of these safe areas with good schools, it is now very likely that in a few years your money will be lost because of forced re-location of the underclass to your community. The gamble on home equity is thus very bad at this point.

On balance, I have always found more value in the improved flexibility and freedom of renting than the potential gains from home ownership. The idea of being locked into one place for 30 years just seems repellent to me. In the days of yore, a young man like myself would have been able to reliably start a family which would make buying a home and sticking with a single job in one place for 30 years more logical, if not more appealing. This of course has already been gutted because chances are all my work and efforts could be stripped away from me at a moments notice by an incorrigibly capricious woman with me having no recourse to protect myself whatsoever. Now, not only is that a worry, I now have to be concerned that even if a potential wife didn’t do this, or I decided to go into it by myself, I will have my equity destroyed by inner-city thugs being planted right next to me. Or Islamic refugees from some third world shithole. Clearly the US is a sinking ship which is why I have felt for a long time that eventually permanently moving overseas is probably the best bet for me personally. In places like Asia, relative safety and the ability to start a family under reasonable circumstances is still very much alive. Until then, though, I will maximize my flexibility over equity. You never know when you might suddenly need to jump ship.

I am sure I am not the only guy who feels this way, or at least there are probably many other men with similar perspectives. This probably constitutes a huge opportunity cost for the housing industry and maybe all industries. The more the government disincentivises productive men, the less they will stick in one area with one job. They will pay less taxes, they will make less purchases and will downgrade the purchases they do make. Ultimately, it will be society generally rather than these men who suffer the most as a result of reduced economic activity.
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